5 effects of new mum sleep-deprivation
Mothers usually struggle with trying to hold down the fort immediately after childbirth. They keep going like the Energizer bunny, until new mum sleep-deprivation hits them like a brick wall. Read more to find out the serious effects of neglecting your sleep needs.
You lay your baby down for sleep, and quietly walk backwards without so much as making a sound in fear of waking up the little one. Halfway through your journey, you hear a loud sound — oh no, you’ve stepped on a squeaky toy — and your baby is up again!
You haven’t slept in days, and you don’t know when the next time you’ll actually get to shut your eyes longer than a blink. Are you having to deal with new mum sleep-deprivation? If so, you’re not alone. Most mums-new (or not-so-new) are suffering from a certain level of sleep-deprivation.
It is to be expected
During the first few weeks and months of your baby’s life, it’s only natural for you to be a sleep-deprived mum. Babies have to eat every three to four hours; meaning you have to be awake for this repetitive process. That’s why it is important to combat sleep-deprivation by taking naps throughout the day while the baby is sleeping.
Many times mums with new babies fight that urge; using the time to catch up on laundry, housework and to spend time with their older children. This is all well and good, but it is important to remember that you aren’t much good to anyone if you are sleep-deprived.
The cost of new mum sleep-deprivation
Not getting any sleep gives you more than a good ‘case of the yawns.’ Having new mum sleep-deprivation can have these 5 serious effects on you:
- Unable to focus – You’ll find yourself putting milk in the pantry and cereal in the refrigerator.
- Grumpy – Something that usually isn’t a big deal will become a matter of life and death (e.g. dirty dishes in the sink, puzzle pieces left on the floor, and unexpected well-wishers dropping by to meet your new one will cause chaos.)
- Slower at recovering – Giving birth is a wonderful, miraculous event, but it’s also a traumatic event from your body’s point of view. Your body needs rest (and lots of it) to recuperate and get back on track.
- Stress level increase – This can cause lactation and blood pressure problems. Sometimes these problems even cause you not to be able to sleep when you do get the chance.
- Miss precious moments in your baby’s life – Being too tired to enjoy these special moments will lead to regret down the road, because they are moments you can never get back.
How to get the sleep you need
Sleep is as essential to a mum as eating is to an infant. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you get what you need. You can do these things to avoid having to deal with a serious case of new mum sleep-deprivation:
- Taking naps when your baby does.
- Using the help of your mother or close friend to assist with household chores, so you don’t get overwhelmed
- If breastfeeding, then supplement with a bottle once during the day and once at night. Ask someone else to take this task on so that you can get some sleep in.
- Be good to yourself by taking the steps necessary to make sure you get the rest you need. At the end of the day, you and your family are worth it.
Check out this video for some additional tips on how to deal with new mum sleep-deprivation:
New mum sleep-deprivation can take a serious toll on a mother’s life, tell us about your experiences during this tough stage of your life down below!